September 21, 2011
A tribute to young artists
“I should be doing the ritual thing and blessing you with words of wisdom and encouragement, and I will. But the truth is, all I really want to do is thank you. Thank all of you students who, against all odds and against all pressures to do otherwise, have chosen to have a life in the arts. All the paradigms of success that we routinely encounter in our everyday lives–on television, in movies, in the online world, in the constant din of advertising, even from our friends and families–all these “models” for success and happiness American-style are really about what is ultimately a disposable life, about a life centered around material gain and about finding the best possible comfort zone for yourself….
…The arts, however, are difficult. They are mind-bendingly and refreshingly difficult.”
-Composer John Adams, 2011 commencement address to the Juilliard School